What is the Torbay Portage Service?

The Torbay Portage Service is a 5 Star accredited educational support service, providing home visiting for families with pre-school children who have Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND).  The Portage aims are: to develop a quality of life and experience, for families and their children; to create an environment where families can learn and play together and to support families to minimise the barriers to ensure they can be included in their local communities.

What do Torbay parents/carers think about Portage?

"Portage have provided us with the most valuable guidance and techniques, from support and guidance throughout the EHCP process, to communication strategies, and different ways to deal with challenging behaviour, plus more"

How does Portage support families?

The Torbay Portage Home Visiting Service is made up of 3 qualified and experienced professionals who support children and families on their unique journeys of raising children with special educational needs and disabilities. 

Families will be assigned to a reliable and consistent Home Visitor, that will work in partnership with parents and carers to identify their child’s areas of strength and support (baseline), identifying long term goals and break them into small, achievable steps (the ‘small step approach’).

During visits, time will be dedicated to child-led play, structured teaching and family focussed discussion.  The family will be given activities and strategies to practice and enjoy between home visits.

Home visitors will work flexibly and sensitively to ensure that the information you have regarding your child’s SEND, is relevant and presented in a way you can understand.  They will work in partnership with other professionals involved with your child in an holistic, child-led approach to learning and development.  Depending on your child’s needs, the Home Visitors will facilitate the Educational Health and Care Plan process with you, supporting you to ensure Requests for Statutory Assessment are completed in good time.  Home Visitors will support the child and family as they move into their chosen Early Years Setting.

Who is Eligible for Portage Support?

To be able to access Torbay Portage Service you must live in Torbay and have a child that is aged 0-3.5 years old who is significantly delayed in two or more areas of development.  One of these areas must be Cognition and Learning Development.    

Cognitive development is how children develop thinking skills, such as attention, concentration, and memory. Children with delays in their cognition and learning development will need their environment adapted to support progress.  Adults may notice that a child with a cognitive and learning delay are often solitary in their play, will use various forms of communication rather than speech and need higher levels of support with self-care activities.  There may also be physical and sensory differences to other children. (please seek advice from a professional that is known to you and your child if you are unsure of this).

Who can refer me to the Portage Service?

Referrals can be made from:

  • Health Visitors
  • Paediatricians
  • The Child Development Centre
  • Child care providers (Nurseries, Childminders, Preschools)
  • Parents

You can make a referral by completing the Service Referral Form below. 

  Complete the Torbay Portage Service Referral Form

Portage Service Leaflet
Family-focused home teaching and support service for young children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
Pathway For Portage Home Visiting 0-3 ½ years age

Setting SENCOS and Portage Home Visitors

For more information or to discuss whether a referral is suitable for your family please contact portageteam@torbay.gov.uk or 01803 208579.

For further information visit the National Portage Association Opens in a new window or visit:

Torbay Portage Service | Facebook 

Torbay Portage Service | Torbay FIS Directory